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Faculty Detail    
Campus Address MCLM 924
Phone  (205) 934-0842
Other websites

Undergraduate  St. Louis University    1986  B.S. Biology 
Graduate  Pennsylvania State University    1992  Ph.D. Cell and Molecular Biology 
Fellowship  Vanderbilt University    1995  Cell and Developmental Biology 

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Center  Comp Arthritis, MSK, Bone & Autoimmunity Ctr  Comp Arthritis, MSK, Bone & Autoimmunity Ctr Professor
Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center Professor
Center  General Clinical Research Center  Ctr for Clinical & Translational Sci Professor
Center  GL Ctr for Craniofacial, Oral, & Dental Disorders  GL Ctr for Craniofacial, Oral, & Dental Disorders Professor
Primary  Cell, Developmntl, & Integrative Biology  Cell, Developmntl, & Integrative Biology Professor

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations
Cell, Molecular, & Developmental Biology 
Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics 
Medical Scientist Training Program 
Pathobiology and Molecular Medicine 

Biographical Sketch 
Rosa Serra, Professor of Cell Biology, received her B.S. degree in Biology from St. Louis University in 1986 and her Ph.D. degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from The Pennsylvania State University, College of Medicine in 1992. Dr. Serra pursued her postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Harold Moses at Vanderbilt University then continued at Vanderbilt as a Research Assistant Professor in Cell Biology. In 1999, Dr. Serra was appointed to the faculty of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine. Dr. Serra joined the UAB faculty in 2002. She was promoted to Full Professor in 2008. Dr. Serra was the Associate Director of the Cell Molecular and Developmental Biology graduate program from 2008 to 2011. She was the Director of the Cancer Biology graduate program from 2011 to 2014 and was awarded the Deans award for excellence in mentorship in 2011. She is currently an Associate Director for the Global Center for Craniofacial, Oral, and Dental Biology and the Comprehensive Arthritis, Musculoskeletal, Bone, and Autoimmunity Center.

Research/Clinical Interest
Mechanism of TGF- Action in Developmental and Disease Processes
The TGF- family of polypeptides consists of multifunctional factors involved in the development of many organ systems and in the progression of disease. The overall goal of the laboratory is to understand the role and mechanism of TGF- signaling in embryonic and post-natal development, particularly in the skeleton, and to apply this knowledge to the understanding and treatment of musculoskeletal disease. We are using several molecular and genetic tools to address these issues, including transgenic mice, mouse organ cultures, primary cell cultures, adenovirus expression systems, as well as gene arrays and next generation sequencing.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Alvarez J, Sohn P, Zeng X, Doetchman T, Robbins D, Serra R:
TGF-ß2 mediates the effects of Hedgehog on Hypertrophic Differentiation and PTHrP Expression.
Development 129:1913-1924, 2002.  
Baffi, MO, Slattery E, Sohn P, Moses HL, Chytil A, Serra R
Conditional Deletion of the TGF-b Type II Receptor in Col2a Expressing Cells Results in Defects in the Axial Skeleton Without Alterations in Chondrocyte Differentiation or Embryonic Development of Long Bones.
Developmental Biology, 276:124-142, 2004  
Song B, Haycraft CJ, Yoder B, Serra R,
Intraflagellar transport proteins are required for post-natal development of the growth plate.
Developmental Biology 305:202-216, 2007. 
Sohn P, Cox M, Chen D, Serra R.
Molecular profiling of the developing mouse axial skeleton: a role for Tgfbr2 in the development of the intervertebral disc.
Dev Biol. 2010 
Wang Y, Cox MK, Coricor G, MacDougall M, Serra R.
Inactivation of Tgfbr2 in Osterix-Cre expressing Dental Mesenchyme Disrupts Molar Root Formation,
Developmental Biology, 382:27-37, 2013. 
Chavez RD, Coricor G, Perez J, Seo HS, Serra R.
SOX9 protein is stabilized by TGF-β and regulates PAPSS2 mRNA expression in chondrocytes.
Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2017 Feb;25(2):332-340 
Coricor G, Serra R.
TGF-β regulates phosphorylation and stabilization of Sox9 protein in chondrocytes through p38 and Smad dependent mechanisms.
Sci Rep. 2016 Dec 8;6:38616.  
Peters SB, Wang Y, Serra R.
Tgfbr2 is required in osterix expressing cells for postnatal skeletal development.
Bone. 2016 Dec 30;97:54-64. 
Killion C*, Mitchell EH*, Duke C, Serra R. Mechanical loading regulates organization of the actin cytoskeleton and column formation in post-natal growth plate., Mol. Biol. Cell, 28:1862-1870, 2017.   28539407 
Serra R, Johnson M, Filvaroff E, Laborde J, Sheehan D, Derynck R, Moses HL:
Expression of a truncated kinase defective TGF-ß type II receptor in mouse skeletal tissue results in defects in chondrocyte differentiation and an osteoarthritis-like phenotype.
Journal of Cell Biology 139:541-552, 1997.  

developmental biology, bone, cartilage, teeth, intervertebral disc, osteoarthrits, skeletal disease